The Importance of a Garden Journal (15 Tips for Success)

A garden journal can improve gardening success. By tracking and documenting successes and failures, gardeners are more likely to repeat positive gardening activities. The importance of a garden journal cannot be understated. There are many journal options, and Gardener Scott discusses 15 important topics that should be included in a garden journal and how he uses them. (Video #106)

1. Plant Info
2. Important Dates
3. Weather Conditions
4. Gardening Techniques
5. Crop Rotation
6. Fertilization
7. Seed Info
8. Insects
9. Milestones
10. Successes & Failures
11. Next Year’s Plan
12. Garden Sketch
13. Plant Tags
14. Photos
15. Receipts

“Gardener’s Log Book: A 5-Year Planner”
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43 Comments

  1. Xavier Israel Matamoros on February 3, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Great ideas! I have my journal in MS Word. In my Excel "Garden Sketch/Plan" workboo, I have placed screenshot of my 3 acre property from Google earth, with beds labeled by clickable text boxes that take me to more detailed pages, where I can insert thumbnail-sized photos of all my flowers & shrubs.

  2. Small Garden Quest on February 3, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Thank you for this. Now when the winter came I will need to think how systematically collect all the data for my next year.
    For this year I only took photos and videos of my progress in the garden but I want more data like temperatures plant varieties and so on.
    Hope your plant will survive the cold under the hoop-house.

  3. Princess Lilian's Gardens on February 3, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    A journal . great idea,
    thanks.

  4. A huitzotl on February 3, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Gotta love this man made weather 😅, anyhow great video 🤙

  5. Head West On 90 on February 3, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    THANK YOU! <3

  6. Jeannie on February 3, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Which journal is shown at :56 under the title?

  7. Denise Fox on February 3, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    My father was a journal-er from way back. When he passed away we found a box in the basement that had his calender’s from when he first bought his property back in the 1940’s with so much information like weather, what he did with the property everyday, his hunting/fishing journals were so detailed with the weather, and the days catch/kill it was fun to read through these. I think that some of his habits were passed down to me, especially the dates of events and such. Thank you for this video and the remembrance of journal keeping and how important is can be.

  8. Mary T on February 3, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for the nudge. I used to keep a garden journal and had gotten away from it. Need to start again.

  9. Yuanyuan Xiao on February 3, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Oh! Thoes journals are cool, and thanks for recommendation. If there is any electronic version, that will be even better.

  10. Deb Crafts on February 3, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks so much for your run down on what to put in a gardening journal. I’ve been trying for years to be a good steward of my tiny amount of land and really struggle sometimes to remember "that year the strawberries did well" what the heck did I do to make them so successful… lol ♡ ty ty

  11. Pople BackyardFarm on February 3, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    great information. This is helpful for us as we are farmers and love houseplants too. New friend Ruthie

  12. Thomas Washington on February 3, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    (

  13. Stan Mack on February 3, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of this great info Gardener Scott! Requesting permission to add your video to my gardening playlist? I’d love to share with my gardening friends.

  14. Curtis Sheeran on February 3, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    I’ve loved this video so much. You remember me my father, which was a gardener too! <3 Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  15. Steven Waskewicz on February 3, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Good Job Scott, well done

  16. Ohskelily Wurarah on February 3, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    👍👍👍👌👍😊

  17. Dystopia Gear on February 3, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Spreadsheets etc are nice, but I prefer a simple notebook for each year. They will never require electricity or batteries, they will still be accessible if my computer or phone blows up, and even after I’m gone the "software" needed to read them will still exist. Barring getting lost in a fire or left out in the rain somehow (which would also destroy an electronic version anyway), they’re pretty fool proof. If one is running a more serious business based around their garden I’m sure they will want a digital version as well.

  18. Wild Edibles on February 3, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    I journal on line kinda like blogging or I would loose the book or forget to write things down etc… I take pictures and videos and keep track that way

  19. Samina Irfan on February 3, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you and I am SO bad at this

  20. Russell Stonestreet on February 3, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Really enjoying your work…but i have to say STOP doing a great job…everytime my fiance sees your work…your putting me to work as well..👍👍👍…Great job buddy. Keep up the good work…

  21. Hawt Toddys on February 3, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Steve reminds me a lot of Jordan Peterson. Thanks for the great video Scott.

  22. Allen Jeng on February 3, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Lovely. Thx 🙏. This is exactly what I have been looking for— a gardening journal. I also wonder if there is a good app for phone or iPad.

  23. Oak Knob Farm on February 3, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    My journal is incomplete… I forget to add sometimes. But it’s STILL useful! Luckily I have a weather station, so at least my weather data is recorded automatically :). But it’s my harvest dates, etc, that sometimes get forgotten and not added

  24. Linda Estell on February 3, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    We had a heavy frost two days ago. That’s nearly four weeks early as our average frost date is November 22nd. Our growing season is getting shorter.

  25. Always Hungry on February 3, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    I started gardening just august 2019 this year and I started instinctively a journal as I wanted to note all my success and failures, the lessons and experiments tried so I also recommend this for any gardener as it is a valuable tool.

  26. Gabriela Mendes on February 3, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Amazing video ! Thank you so much! I started gardening last year, and this year I have my first tulips ! And this week I planted Lily’s and Dahlias. I hope that it works as good as the tulips. I live in Ireland and here it rains every single day .. that’s my problem. Less sun, more rain. But I’m in love for my garden, and I’ll start my garden journal tomorrow!

  27. Dave Amphlett on February 3, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    I think the video is great and makes perfect sense. From my point of view I hate writing and am not very good at keeping diary’s etc. What i do is take photo’s and group the plants starting with sowing , the first sprouts, first flowers, first crops and photos of the crops on the scales etc. i find it much easier and rewarding than writing ( ugh). I keep them on the computer in folders by year as you say Scott if you do not record things some way you forget and i sure forget things but i find the photo’s jog my memory. Keep up the excellent videos super quality by the way.

  28. Trần Thị Duyên on February 3, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Xin chào anh.anh ơi có tuyết rơi kia, chắc là lạnh lắm anh nhỉ

  29. Judy Mertz on February 3, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sending me in this direction.

  30. Beverly Anne on February 3, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    In Nursing we have an old saying "If it was not written down, it was not done". In the Army we call it CYA , Cover Your A$$. I live by this addage. I have tons of note books. Going back to when I was 9. Just the important writing I treasure. Taught my Eldest son to do scientific journalling. We took a snapshot of the plants he grew, and he made notes of his observations of growth. Started when he was 2. It was awesome. When he was 10 and he made slime. I tried to make him keep a journal of his formula of experimentations. He got frustrated. He wanted to make a muck. Then he learnt why, because he could not reproduce the success of his experimented recipe because he had no notes. Lesson learned. He did have fun. But if you change things a lot write it down. I bake a lot, I write down any and all changes too, because it is chemistry it matters. I try to be a living example for my kids. Fun and practical. Share your wisdom. There is no point in knowing things if no one knows you know. That’s why people are social creatures by nature. Writing it down provides wonderful ancedotes for life later on too! I have lovely stories of almost every plant, planting bulbs in our front garden with my Boy’s.

  31. Jesse Greenough on February 3, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Great information

  32. Lizaveta Glazova on February 4, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Thank you very much) very interesting and useful information. I plan to make my own garden journal

  33. Maura Buller on February 4, 2021 at 12:04 am

    I will take your advice to heart. I just moved to southwest Idaho and am new to gardening. I have four raised beds to start with in this sandy desert climate (zone 7a). Love your channel! Thank you!

  34. Tonya Francesca on February 4, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Wow that’s cold!! We’re the opposite too hot in Australia. Great gardening advice, many thanks!

  35. Kayleigh Sherman on February 4, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Gardener Scott, this is one of my favourite videos of yours. Please share some of your spreadsheet ideas for the nerdy types like me 🙂 Thank you so much for all the work you do on this channel.
    I grew up on the west coast in Zone 9a and now I live at high elevation in the Rocky Mountains in Zone 3a with mountain valley weather that really has a mind of its own! I really appreciate your guidance on tracking & learning about my own specific garden. My new location is beautiful but it’s also like gardening on a different planet! So I am learning as if I am brand new. I am really enjoying your recent comments and answers to your fellow Colorado gardeners lately as these questions often apply to my zone too. Info like that is difficult to find! Much appreciated.
    As I was just typing this I got a message from my neighbour showing a severe hail storm warning this afternoon! The irony.
    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your wonderful world of gardening!!

  36. Our Wood Chip Garden - Morgan on February 4, 2021 at 12:14 am

    I use Word. Then I can document it via my phone and computer.

  37. kahvac on February 4, 2021 at 12:15 am

    Excellent video ! Maybe someone can help me get organized. I’ve been making videos of my garden and fruit trees for the past 6 years and have 100’s of videos that are only organized by dates they were taken. It’s really nice to look back over the years and see how things have changed. Sometimes if I’m looking for problem like borers, fungal issues, pests, or deer issues, it can be a handful to start looking at all these videos. Maybe someone has a better way. Thanks again for the great videos !

  38. Stephen Luna on February 4, 2021 at 12:17 am

    20 degrees and no gloves?!

  39. Strive4impact on February 4, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Awesome idea. I’m in Idaho Springs (Colorado), and came across your channel several weeks back. Thanks for all of your great tips. I have a lot of clients who use WordPress (content management system) for their websites, and I’ve used WordPress as an organizational tool for various projects as well. Until this video, I hadn’t thought about using it to keep track of garden stuff, but I’m going to get it set up and in place now. Thank you for the idea!

  40. Debbie Hester on February 4, 2021 at 12:19 am

    My grandmother journaled daily from the time she was a newlywed in the 1920’s about all aspects of her life, especially her garden. Everyone who knew her swore she could put a chunk of firewood in the ground and have an oak tree in no time. There’s so much wisdom in those pages and when I wonder how she would handle a garden problem I have, I just turn the pages. She started me on garden journals many years ago. Thank you so much for emphasizing the importance of journals.

  41. Dave Amphlett on February 4, 2021 at 12:22 am

    I am using the no dig method of gardening and growing in raised beds. I am in
    England and I wonder if you have heard of Charles Dowding and his No dig method of gardening . Here is a link to his main video which got me interested in his method. I have had great success using it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HATC3rG6NbQ

  42. Ben There on February 4, 2021 at 12:23 am

    That’s a lot of good advice. There are many, many things I’ve done in my garden where I’ve completely forgotten the details. I specialize in Southeast Asian vegetables and not only would I like a log of when, how, and what I did, but I’d like to have photos of my results. I wish I had done what you are recommending.

  43. Lynda Buchholz on February 4, 2021 at 12:23 am

    I like your friends journal where did it come from?

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